This is perhaps the chapter of the Bible that more people have partly heard than any other. We have also heard things that aren't there: like the animals around the manger who don't get a mention in Luke's account â perhaps because their presence in houses as well as "stables" they were taken for granted.
Most people have a favourite part of this chapter. My childhood favourite is left out of the set reading, but I'll talk about why other bits have stuck in my mind more recently. Although I will not actually talk about Jesus' birth, for this chapter above all others in the Bible, I will notice things about Mary and another quietly significant woman character.